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Lots of people are named after someone famous. Whether it’s an actor, musician or athlete people are named after famous people all the time. It’s not very often, though, that the person gets a phone call from the famous person. Junior North Lamar student Samaki Walker is one of the lucky ones that did get that phone call.
While pregnant, his mother attended a Dallas Mavericks basketball game. She heard Samaki Walker announced over the loud speaker in the arena. Since her last name was Walker and she really liked the name Samaki, she decided to name her child this when he was born.
Samaki knew he was named after the Dallas Mavericks basketball player and as he grew up watched him play and did his own reading up on him to find out about him and who he was. The NBA Samaki Walker went to college at Louisville and was drafted by the Mavericks with the No. 9 pick in the 1996 NBA draft. He spent some time in Dallas, San Antonio, Los Angeles, Miami, Washington and Indiana before leaving the NBA to play over seas. While in Los Angeles, Samaki won a NBA championship while playing with Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant during the 2002 season.
After reading an article on eParisExtra about North Lamar’s Samaki Walker’s 86 yard touchdown catch and run against Quinlan Ford, his representative contacted eParis. They showed interest in Samaki because of the uniqueness of his name and because of his athleticism. After several emails and phone calls back and forth between the representative, eParis and North Lamar school, it was all worked out and the time was set for the ex-NBA player to call the current North Lamar player.
Friday morning at 8:45, while gathered in the Athletic Director’s secretaries office, the phone rang. Samaki from North Lamar talked for close to ten minutes on the phone. He explained how he got his name and the other Samaki told him what it meant.
“He told me that in Swahili our name means fish – big fish,” Samaki told eParisExtra after he hung up with the ex-Dallas Maverick.
You could see the excitement as Samaki talked about the conversation he just had.
“I was pretty excited. I mean I’ve been wanting to talk to him for a while,” Samaki said. “Just how he wanted to see me, I wanted to see who he was and talk to him.”
By: Greg Higgins, eParisExtra